From staff to student and back: Adam’s story

This article was written by Adam Jahr, our campus operations manager in Orlando.

Working for The Iron Yard since early 2015, I’ve witnessed students’ brains change, minds unlock, and futures open up. The level of motivation, focus, and discipline required to transform oneself into a junior-level developer in just 3 months’ time is monumental.

I have never taken my job lightly. I am responsible for ensuring our campus is admitting students we believe can succeed through our model of education, and I support them every step of the way during the program and beyond. We’re literally changing lives, and I am honored to be supporting these inspiring souls.

And, as I’ve found, inspiration tends to rub off on you. That’s why last November I took a leap of faith in myself and became an Iron Yard student.

So… how was it?

In a word: incredible.

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CODE Debugging the Gender Gap: Screenings coming to a campus near you

Supporting diversity in the tech industry is something we’re incredibly passionate about at The Iron Yard, and something we’re actively working to impact. We hope to inspire communities to have open and honest conversations about the issue of diversity in tech, and create an inclusive, safe environment for tech education.

To that end, we are working with local partners to offer screenings of the documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. Our goal is to bring together our students, staff and members of the local tech community to talk about how we can increase gender diversity in the field.

The CODE documentary exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap.  The film raises the question: what would society gain from having more women and minorities code?

Below is a list of upcoming screenings on our campuses. Want to learn more about CODE? Check out the trailer here.

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Meet the team: Spotlight on Orlando

The Orlando economy has surged over the past couple of years, even earning a spot in the top three for Forbes’ 2016 best cities for jobs list, and 2017 is looking just as bright for the city’s vibrant tech sector.

With enrollment open for spring Front-End, Back-End and Mobile courses in Orlando, today, we want to introduce you to our outstanding campus team. We sat down with Susanna Miller the Orlando Campus Director and our instructors Brian Gates, Jason Skipper and Ben Gohlke to learn more about their backgrounds, advice they have for aspiring developers and what’s got them most excited about the Orlando tech community:

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The number one mistake women make when considering a career change: Jessy’s story

Jessy could have started the career of her dreams years ago. Not that she disliked her job as a math teacher. In fact, teaching ultimately helped her discover her true passion – technology.

After graduating college with a B.A. in Psychology, Jessy knew she wanted to do something a little different than following the traditional path of becoming a psychologist. She wanted to make an impact, which is what led her to education. “As education became more technology-focused, I became more interested in the technology itself than being an educator,” she said. Read More

The teacher becomes the student: Erik’s story

“I was trying to teach myself to code to make my life easier.”

Now a full-time web developer with Practice, Erik was first drawn to coding with the hope of gaining the knowledge he needed to build an application for his business. “I was a martial arts instructor full-time for the past 10 years or so of my life,” he said. “There was no web application or anything that did what I needed it to. I was spending two to three hours a day doing paperwork.” Read More

From A/V technician to software engineer: Jordan’s story

Jordan Anderson was doing well in his career as an audio-visual technician. He was at the precipice of entering a new position and learning new skills, but there was one big problem: he knew it wasn’t what he was supposed to do. At a Thanksgiving potluck, a friend brought up The Iron Yard. Having dabbled in some code before, Jordan chewed on the idea for a while and began asking for feedback from his family and friends who were already working as programmers. Read More

From Rocket Science to Rocking Code: Leslie’s story

Leslie Brown grew up in Orlando with a grandfather who worked at the Kennedy Space Center as a mechanical and systems engineer. As a kid, she often watched shuttles as they launched into space from Cape Canaveral. Excited and inspired by space travel, she ended up studying aerospace engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After graduating, she worked as a systems engineer for a defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, where she first started learning some code. Read More

Helping kids learn programming for Hour of Code

One of the most rewarding parts of what we do at The Iron Yard is hosting kids coding classes. Our instructors volunteer their time on a regular basis to make sure kids in every community where we operate have a chance to be exposed to what it’s like to code. Plus, our kids coding classes usually feature fun topics like how to build games or recreate popular characters characters.

Teaching kids is something we’ve done since we launched, and it’s remained a big part of our DNA. Our CEO Peter Barth put it this way:

We believe in investing in the local tech economy for the long run, and that means impacting the next generation. Hosting these events is a great way to help kids take their first step down a path that could unlock a passion for technology.

We’re so passionate about exposing kids to technology and coding that we are hosting free kids coding events at every one of our locations during the week of Dec. 7-13 for the global “Hour of Code” effort created by Code.org. The goal of the effort is to introduce students to computer science – even one hour of learning to code might be the start of something great! Last year, every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as part of the campaign. Pretty cool. Read More